June 29th 2010

Firstly, I'd like to thank the generous donor that helped support a wonderful cause in the Gulf Fundraiser and bought my painting. There are still some incredible pieces of artwork available through the ML4U online shop, so please visit! The shop is up for another six days!

Today, I've been varnishing the first of a series of oil paintings I've been working on, and the fumes caused me to open my windows wide. It's so beautiful out today! I should be out there! But there's no time for frolicking today. Only time for fumes.

The photos above are of the varnish on the painting drying. I've set it leaning with the painting side in so that the dust doesn't get at it.

I'm finally beginning to really get in to painting with oils again. I'll admit, I've been working at them for months and wasn't sure how I felt about them, but working steadily on my third painting; I feel like they're looking the way I really want them to. I'm actually quite happy with them! I wish I could post my progress, but I'm going to save that for the end of August when the show goes up.

I've been documenting the process of one particular painting by taking a photo of it every day that I work on it. The reason I decided to do this was that the paintings consist of one finished painting being covered up almost entirely with a new layer of painting. This will make sense later when I post them, and I'll try to include a video of the progress happening.

I hope everyone's enjoying a beautiful day out there!


  1. I'm sooo excited to see your oil paintings Melinda! I'm trying to get mine to dry without getting dust stuck to them now too. Do you find that leaning them like that is enough to keep the dust off? I'll have to try that.

  2. Thanks Carly!
    And I find that if you lean the painting face forward against the wall, that should keep most of the dust out of your paint. But I'm also using alkyds, which don't stay tacky nearly as long. Are you using regular oils?

  3. I'm using water mixable oils from Windsor Newton. I think they dry a bit faster than regular oils. Plus I have started to mix a fast-drying medium with my white for my backgrounds, which has helped. The backgrounds seem to take longer to dry. I guess they get painted last and somehow end up painted a bit more thickly, compared to the finicky, heavily worked detail areas. I usually put plastic salad greens containers over my paintings to keep the dust off in between painting sessions (they are the perfect size for my tiny boards, and the lids make great palettes). That slows down the drying, which is good when you are still working on it, but now so good when you are in a hurry for the darn things to dry. I'm excited to try this new 'leaning towards the wall technique'. In fact, I think I will go lean them right now.

  4. p.s. (as if my last comment was not long enough) Are we in the same show? The sort of cabinet of curiosities-ish themed one? I thought it was at the end of July. It would be good news if I had an extra month.

  5. I love long comments! The salad greens container is a good idea, but I'm sure leaning your paintings will work well for you. And yes! We're in the same show! And it has been extended until August 26th. I can't wait to see what you do for it!

  6. Exciting! I'll start a new piece this weekend!